Buyers cite targeting capabilities and inventory quality as the top criteria for choosing programmatic in-app publisher partners
PubMatic, the publisher-focused sell-side platform (SSP) for an open digital media future, released a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of PubMatic, which found that buyers are allocating nearly a quarter of digital advertising budgets to mobile apps to capitalize on increased targeting and customer engagement, despite concerns about in-app fraud and measurability. The findings of this study provide vital recommendations and steps publishers can take to maximize ad revenue from mobile in-app environments.
In October 2018, PubMatic commissioned Forrester Consulting to explore how media buying organizations plan, and purchase, programmatic in-app advertising to empower publishers and app developers to take advantage of the growing investment in in-app. The study found buyers are allocating nearly half (45 percent) of their digital advertising budgets to mobile, split evenly between web and app. Additionally, media professionals are opting for programmatic buys, via both programmatic direct and open exchange, over direct buys for in-app inventory.
Better customer engagement and targeting abilities are driving investment in in-app ads, with about three-quarters of marketers buying the format programmatically because the medium offers these benefits. Further, over half of all respondents expressed that in-app delivers on those promises. Fifty-six percent of respondents say they experienced better audience targeting with in-app ads while 54 percent received more effective customer engagement from the format.
While investment in in-app is growing, this study also highlights the top pain points and challenges marketers and agencies face with in-app advertising:
- Fear of fraud is the number one concern in in-app advertising among brand advertisers (52 percent), who are far more likely to consider it a key challenge than their agency partners (36 percent)
- Viewability measurement challenges top the list of concerns with in-app advertising for agencies (48 percent), many of whom still rely on traditional KPIs to measure their in-app campaigns
- Media buyers want assistance from publishers and technology providers in addressing these concerns, by offering fraud verification (over 50 percent) and viewability verification (47 percent)
- Publishers can assist by focusing on their targeting capabilities and quality, with nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of respondents citing targeting as the most important criterion for choosing an in-app publisher, and over half identifying inventory quality (58 percent) and a brand safe environment (56 percent) as top criteria
“As buyers increasingly embrace programmatic in-app opportunities, transparency and quality are critically important,” said Paulina Klimenko, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development & General Manager of Mobile at PubMatic. “Brands are leveraging their buying power to make smarter investments in programmatic, and it is imperative that publishers and ad tech providers alike understand buyers’ needs and challenges with regard to in-app environments. By focusing and innovating around data capabilities and inventory quality, supply providers can capitalize on the growing opportunities available in-app.”
PubMatic hopes the release of this study provides publishers with a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges buyers see with in-app advertising, while giving publishers and app developers important recommendations to develop informed strategies to monetize and optimize their in-app inventory.